The fact that he’s willing to show snippets of McCain’s ads in his own video can only mean The One thinks he’s gaining more than he’s losing from the Mac attacks. (Which may be true.) As such, the closer we get to the debate, the more I think Obama’s going to throw Maverick a curve by bringing up Ayers himself to try to put him on the defensive about “tone.” If there’s one thing the fightin’ nutroots loves more than a fight, it’s being congratulated on their virtue; Obama could kill both birds with one stone by landing the first punch and trumpeting how high-minded the left’s campaigning has been by comparison. Aside from the occasional George Wallace analogy, that is. Needless to say, the media would be in raptures.

I hope McCain’s prepping for that contingency. Although if I had to bet, I’d bet Schieffer brings it up himself early on. Team Maverick’s reply to Plouffe follows below.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe released a video this morning accusing Governor Palin of making comments that were “beyond the pale.” The comments in question: “our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.”

The “terrorists” in question would be William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, the husband and wife team behind the Weather Underground, a group responsible for attacks against the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. In 1995, Barack Obama launched his political career in the house of William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. From 1996 through 2002, Barack Obama served on two charitable boards with William Ayers. And, per the New York Times, Barack Obama and William Ayers regularly traded emails and phone calls through 2005. Barack Obama recently explained that he had “assumed [Ayers] had been rehabilitated.” His campaign subsequently explained that Obama no longer considers Ayers to be rehabilitated. But before Barack Obama had what Joe Biden might call an epiphany about the true nature of William Ayers, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley explained the relationship this way: “They’re friends. So what?” And Obama’s own chief strategist, David Axelrod, described Ayers and Obama as “certainly friendly.”

This much is clear: Barack Obama and William Ayers were friends before that relationship became a political embarrassment for the Illinois Senator–Obama did pal around with a terrorist. According to his campaign, Barack Obama no longer believes Ayers has been rehabilitated. And William Ayers did target his own country. So what part of Governor’s Palin’s remarks are “beyond the pale.” Perhaps Mr. Plouffe does not like Governor Palin’s inference that Barack Obama palled around with Ayers because Barack Obama has a different view of America than most of us. Yet the Obama campaign has offered no alternate explanation–they have not conceded that the relationship was simply the result of a serious error in judgment.

The only thing “beyond the pale” here is the Obama campaign’s failure to explain how it is that Barack Obama carried on a decade long friendship with a man who sought to topple the U.S. government through violence. — Michael Goldfarb, McCain-Palin Spokesman